Timing of Matthew Stafford surgery is moot

January, 21, 2011
1/21/11
5:30
PM ET
Did y'all know something I didn't know?

(Hold your jokes on that one.)

Stafford
Stafford
During an impromptu Twitter chat Thursday, I asked Detroit Lions readers what they wanted to read about as we approach a long offseason of uncertainty. Your overwhelming response was for an update on quarterback Matthew Stafford's injured right shoulder, the one that cost him 13 starts last season.

At that very moment, it turned out, Stafford was making final preparations to undergo surgery. As you've probably heard by now, Dr. James Andrews repaired Stafford's AC joint during a procedure Friday morning. In a statement, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said: "We have full confidence that Matt will be 100 percent before the start of training camp."

Stafford didn't play again after suffering the injury Nov. 7, and we could probably spend hours debating why he didn't have surgery right away. (Schwartz said in his statement that the initial plan to rehabilitate was on track but that Andrews decided "Matt's healing process could be enhanced by undergoing surgery at this time.")

But because of what might happen in the NFL over the next year, the debate is probably moot. Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com reports Stafford's recovery will take four months, which normally would spill into the Lions' offseason conditioning program and possibly spring practices.

Those programs will be canceled, however, if NFL owners lock out players as expected this spring. So if there were ever an offseason to be sidelined after major surgery, it's this one.

The big question is not when Stafford resumes offseason workouts, but whether or not he can stay healthy next season. He has ended each of his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve. An entire franchise is keeping its fingers crossed.

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